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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Briefs: Gold Brokerage, Ryland Group

The owner of a Sherman Oaks gold brokerage has been charged with 50 felony counts for allegedly failing to deliver shipments to customers. Prosecutors with the L.A. County District Attorney’s office allege Michael Berman, owner of Discount Gold Brokers, which buys and sells gold bullion and coins, defrauded 25 victims with total losses of more than $1.7 million. Berman, 53, of Canyon Country, is charged with 25 counts of grand theft of personal property and 25 counts of false and fraudulent claim. Prosecutors say Berman failed to deliver gold as promised, or only made partial deliveries. Berman pleaded not guilty to all charges Friday, after surrendering to law enforcement earlier in the day. The case remains under investigation by prosecutors and the California Department of Business Oversight, which regulates the gold industry. If convicted, Berman faces a maximum sentence of 27 years in state prison. Calls to the brokerage for comment were not answered. Ryland Group Inc. has declared a quarterly dividend of 3 cents a share, payable on July 30 to common stockholders of record on July 15. The Westlake Village homebuilder last week reported strong revenue growth in the first quarter amid the pickup of the housing market, prompting at least two analyst upgrades. Shares closed up 95 cents, or about 2.5 percent, to $38.26 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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